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Halloween III: Season of the Witch
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Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

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Plot Summary:
"A patient is brutally murdered in hospital; the attacker is promptly incinerated when his vehicle blows up in the car park. Witness to a series of bizarre and horrifying incidents, Dr Dan Challis investigates and comes face to face with the sinister figure of Conal Cochran, maker of Halloween masks. Intent on reviving the rites to All Hallows Eve, a night of ancient sacrifce when, long ago, the hills ran red with the blood of animals and children, the diabolical toymaler is planning a devilish trick or treat for the children of America."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 27 October 2003 My Rating: out of 5


Deciding that the original story was well and truly finished, JC and co, decided to use the title and release a different story every year for Halloween, much like Dark Castle Entertainment do now. So, they decided to test the waters with this, the most critically slated film of the series, outrightly branded the worst of the bunch.

Despite it's reputation, if you view this with no expectations and forget about it's roots, it's not all that bad.

Trying to be original, this film deals with a scary druid toymaker who creates Halloween masks that, if worn during a special televised broadcast, will kill the kids as a way of sacrifice to the druids ( I think ).

Anyway, a doctor and a young woman get caught up in the toymaker's evil plans and what ensues is a Halloween night of very different proportions.

The directing (courtesy of Carpenter's friend Tommy Lee Wallace) and acting are all competent enough, and the anamatronics and special effects help to raise the level of suspense in some scenes, but the main problem is the silly story that in the early 1980's was a bit premature. Perhaps now in the reality TV age and with the rise of radical dictators in the world, the story has more resonance.

Not bad, it really doesn't deserve it's reputation as it is at least aesthetically pleasing. For us diehard Michael Myers fans, he even has a cameo.

Reviewer: Josh Winning @horrorasylum
Review Date: 31 October 2001 My Rating: out of 5

# If only this movie hadn't been called Halloween and entered as the second sequel to the classic... If only it had simply been called 'Season of the Witch'... If only John Carpenter had directed it... I could go on forever, but the truth is that I find myself liking this movie. Despite its flaws, and despite the fact that it makes a dreadful entry into the franchise (simply because the franchise really belongs to Michael Myers), this movie displays just what a great storyteller John Carpenter can be if he tries hard enough.

The ludicrous plot (which, admittedly, would have been turned down by any of the cheap 's horror shows), gives way to what is a surprisingly entertaining movie. The use of mystery is well worked, and the plot becomes more sinister with every passing second as Ellie starts to unravel a world of horror underneath the 'Silver Shamrock' factory.

Another surprising aspect about this movie is the fact that there is actually quality acting all round, and even the annoying family in the motel room next to the main characters are credible - and their fate is a scene that is undeniably stomach-churning and chilling to the bone. The gore-level is unusually high, and there are a couple of shocking deaths (I think I must have jumped at least three times, which is really saying something).

The main thing that really disappointed me with Halloween III, however was John Carpenter's score. It's a simple, repetitive orchestration that gets annoying just half-way into the film, and at times is ear-piercing with its synthesizer sounds. Yes, it can be eerie in its consistency when it's needed, but in scenes where nothing of note occurs, the soundtrack just becomes aggravating and headache-inducing.

Just when Halloween III becomes something of a worthy movie, however, it descends into into one of the most atrocious post-climactic battles I have ever sat through. Although it could have made a worthy final twist if handled correctly, the ending (with Ellie being revealed as something other than we had previously thought) is left feeling rather stale and ridiculous with its open-ended and confusing showdown.

Halloween III is entertaining enough, and the viewer's attention is kept throughout. It is let down by an annoying ending, but maybe that is its genius-factor; Halloween III delivers where expected, and exceeds expectations in others...

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